Do What You Can (within reason)

There is so much to do and so little time

This is a time in my life and in the lives of many other’s wherein stress, challenge and opportunity abound. My concerns include, but are not limited to, the following:
  • the state of our democracy (i.e. the Supreme Court nomination process & hearings);
  • social concerns (women’s issues and race matters);
  • family matters (caregiving, providing);
  • attending to work (running a thriving business);
  • financial stability (planning for the present and the future);
  • and personal health (working toward healthy eating, regular exercise and sufficient sleep).

All of these require attention, planning, action and maintenance.

The Intersection

Like many of you, I find myself at the intersection of all of these areas of concern. Like many of you I find myself longing for –
  • equal treatment;
  • safety;
  • civility;
  • respect;
  • empathy;
  • personal and familial well-being; and
  • the ability to manage and attend to meaningful work.

Do what you can

Many days it seems like there is not enough time to be informed, attend to community needs, work demands, quality family time and healthy habits etc… What I have to remind myself is what I want to share with all of you: I remind myself to “Do what I can.” Essentially, to do what I can within reason. I’ve have been known to have unreasonable expectations about what can get done in a given period of time.

When this happens it can mimic the freeze of “fight, flight, freeze.”

Just do one thing

When I find myself overwhelmed, I tell myself “just do one thing, then the next thing, then another thing.”
  • I say to myself “breathe.”
  • I check in with my body and consider what I need. Do I need movement, rest, water, food, help, connection, time, belonging, information or something else?

Every journey is a string of steps that are part of a process. Not so much toward a destination. That is a common misinterpretation.

Ask for help

Can I provide these things for myself or do I need to enlist another person? If I need to enlist someone- who can I ask…and who else can I ask if they are unavailable, unwilling or unable? How can I extend the same respect of boundaries to others that I hope will be respected in return when I have to set my own?

Do it yourself

If I can provide what I need for myself, what, if any, barriers are keeping me from doing it? Do I have unrealistic expectations? Am I pushing for something to happen before it really needs too? Can some things wait? If so, I have to get honest and remind myself to do what I can.

Don’t do Everything

Please note that I am not saying do everything  you can. I am suggesting that you do what you can within reason. Do what you can in recognition that depletion is real. Do what you can and leave space for renewal. Keep space for what you need most to catch up with you.
Doing what you can includes being at rest. It includes receiving. It includes waiting. It includes sometimes doing nothing.

A conscious and meaningful life

Internal and external stress are a part of a conscious and meaningful life. The intersection of concerns I listed at the outset signal that we are a part of something worthy. Whether it be a nation, an ethnicity, our gender, our families, our professions and our own individual being.  Stress doesn’t necessarily mean anything is wrong with us. However, it does signal that something requires our attention. We have to make sure that while in the process we don’t lose ourselves.

Copyright © 2018 Ruby Blow. All rights reserved.

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